Friday, November 9, 2012

IOWA: Huckabee leads close field in 2016 poll

I'm late to this, but Public Policy Polling has already gone up with its first 2016 poll of the cycle (can we call this a cycle yet? What else would you call it?).

It shows some real parity across a scattered and very impressive field.

1. Mike Huckabee 15%

2. Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan 12%

5. Jeb Bush 11%

6. Rick Santorum 10%

7. Condaleezza Rice 9%

8. Rand Paul 5%

9. Sarah Palin 4%

What's notable? Chris Christie does quite well, considering his eastern identity and relatively moderate record on a number of issues (but you've gotta think that Iowans might assume his real record is like his youtube record). 

Condi performs pretty well, but keep in mind: the evangelical vote in Iowa is somewhere in the neighborhood of 60% (it's 53% in this poll) and it's hard to imagine Condi's pro-choice views selling there.

So let's take a look at some favorable ratings now, ranked by net favorability. Some surprises here.

1. Paul Ryan 83%/13% for +70%.

2. Condoleezza Rice 75%/13% for +62%.

3. Mike Huckabee 68%/16% for +52%.

4. Jeb Bush 60%/11% for +49%.

5. Marco Rubio 59%/11% for +48%.

6. Rick Santorum 64%/18% for +46%.

7. Sarah Palin 60%/26% and Chris Christie 55%/21% for +34%.

9. Rand Paul 48%/28% for +20%.

Paul Ryan and Condi have pretty blowout favorable ratings.

Some other things that stood out.

Christie's favorable ratings were higher with non-evangelicals than they were with evangelicals; other than that, the rest of the candidates (save for Rubio who was essentially even) boasted stronger favorables with evangelicals than non-evangelicals.

The tea party gave everyone higher favorability ratings than non-tea partiers, so that bodes well for getting tea partiers on board with this field. They were perpetually grumpy about their 2008 choices, drifting from one candidate to another as tiny blemishes on records became known.

Ironically enough, tea partiers actually give Chris Christie their nod -- a reflection of his confrontational nature, perhaps, and not his ideology?

TEA PARTY preference:

1. Chris Christie 18%

2. Rick Santorum  16%

3. Marco Rubio 14%

4. Paul Ryan 11%

5. Mike Huckabee 10%

6. Jeb Bush 9%

7. Sarah Palin 7%

8. Condoleezza Rice 6%

9. Rand Paul 4%

EVANGELICAL preference:

1. Mike Huckabee 20%

2. Paul Ryan and Rick Santorum 14%

4. Chris Christie 13%

5. Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush 10%

7. Condoleezza Rice 7%

8. Sarah Palin 5%

9. Rand Paul 2%

Rand Paul is clearly smarting from his dad's reputation. It'll be interesting to see if he can break free from Ron's image in the coming years.

Also notable: Rubio is the top choice among men, but Huckabee and Ryan tie for the top spot among women. Sarah Palin, as usual, performs twice as well with men as with women. Throughout her national, political career, Palin has proven more appealing to men than women.

There was a big gender gap with Ryan. He picked up 17% of women (tied for first) but only 7% of men (7th place), and other than Palin, was the only potential candidate with a big gender gap. During the Veep debate, women seemed to respond much better to his mild, respectful manners than men, and we might be seeing a bit of residuals from that.